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Vladimir Opara. Artist

Vladimir Opara is a artists-member
of the Moscow Union of Artists
and he is a artist- member of the sosiasion of Pulchri Studio, the Den Haag, Netherlands.


Vladimir Opara was born in Altai in the city of Barnaul on 30th of May 1952.

The parents of Vladimir take part in settling of new virgin and long-fallow lands,

which was the reason of Vladimir's childhood taking place in the piedmonts of

Altai. The mother, an English teacher, came to Altai with Komsomol pass, the

father is the head engineer of machine and tractor station (MTS). Instead of toys

Vladimir has screws, carburetors, gears and gearwheels. He even has his own

truck, real "Polutorka". The truck doesn't have an engine, but it has a steering

wheel. An amazing toy. Out of every kind of components from trucks, winnowers,

seeding-machines Vladimir creates his own "machines". There is almost no peers,

however, Vladimir is not bored with himself, as in his possessions there are "toys"

like that. Perhaps, these toys were his first installations. The sensation of space and

beauty of the world is formed in Vladimir in the vast expanses of Altai. In 1958 the

family returns to Barnaul. In 1959 Vladimir joins one of the best schools in the

city. At school he is an acknowledged artist. He draws a series of comics about the

life of the school. A doll theatre is opened at school, however, Vladimir is not

accepted - he can't pronounce "R" properly. The theatre closed soon, the dolls and

requisite are left. Vladimir creates his own doll theatre, in which he takes the role

of a director, a screenwriter, an artists, actors are his school friends. The theatre

works for a couple of years. Everything is serious, even concert tours. A husband

of a chemistry teacher, professional artist, Gennadij Borunov is responsible for the

decoration of the school on celebrations: New Year, 7th of November, 1st of May,

9th of May. Vladimir is his irreplaceable assistant. After graduation Vladimir,

despite everyone's expectation, instead of applying to art college joins military

academy of communication. The reason for that is that Vladimir dreams about

space traveling and thinks that becoming a specialist in the fields of space

communication will make his dream true. In reality things turned out different. The

word "command" defines the concept and purpose of the studies. Instead of

specialists of communication, commanders were trained. After three months

Vladimir quits the academy. He returns to Barnaul and starts working in a factory

as an turner apprentice. He doesn't spend a lot of time working on a lathe. He was

often involved in design tasks: to all "Red Soviet" celebrations Vladimir draws

posters, visual agitation, decorates automobiles for demonstrations. In Barnaul at

that time there was no opportunity to get art education, and the limit of traveling to

study to another town was exceeded, and the parents offer to study in hometown,

Barnaul. The choice is small: medicine institute, agricultural institute, pedagogic

institute. Vladimir joins Physics-mathematical faculty of the pedagogic institute.

During his studies he writes essays on physiology, is interested in the history of

arts, cosmogony. Writes poetry. Draws. A lot of time spends in recently openedhuge Kraevaja library. Reads treatises about painting, independently studies the

technology of painting. Tries to paint with oil paint. Goes to evening courses of

artists-decorators (designers). The courses by an artists Aleksej Drilev, who

finished Krasnojarskij art college. Drilev offers students "not to write letters", but

paint from nature. In the evenings staging takes place in an auditorium, fellow

students are invited to pose. To Vladimir's mother, Svetlana Vladislavovna, an

English teacher, grateful students gift a book by Anri Perrusho "Van Gogh's Life".

The book Svetlana gives to Vladimir saying: it's for you, you are an artist. Being a

last year's student (1974), Vladimir exhibits his first experiments in painting on a

professional exhibition. One of his firs works is "Sunflowers". After graduation he

visits G.Tarskij's studio, where he draws gypsum, and national studio of A. I.

Ievlev attached to factory of Transport Machinery Construction, where he paint

still lifes and stagings. Vladimir is expelled from national studio after one year for

his experimentation with form and color. During this time Vladimir is "street

artist", which means painting landscapes on streets. Alleys and houses of his

hometown, suburbs. Manner is "fauvistic", expressive. A little later - a passion for

the manner of artist Marquet. Vladimir's own manner of painting is being formed.

In 1975 on one of the exhibitions Vladimir meets artists Vladimir Kvasov and

Vasilij Rublev, then all the circle of Rublev's studio. Rublev's studio is "another

art" of Barnaul's city. From 1976 to 1979 Vladimir paints naked models in the

Rublev's studio. Excitement and theories, a passion for East - zen, chan, the art of

inspiration. Rejection of socialist realism. Vladimir participates in the exhibition

"Young Artists of Siberia". All the presented works are taken in the exhibition. For

participation on the exhibition Vladimir is granted a diploma. Vladimir's painting

is published in "Art" magazine of Academy of Arts USSR. Vladimir is taken in

the Association of Young Artists of the Union of Artists USSR.

In 1978 he meets an artist Andrej Pozdeev. A part of Barnaul artists and member of the board are hostile towards Rublev's studio and signal "where one have to go" and persistently: write reports to soviet authorities. Vladimir's confession causes a reaction from directors of culture - Opara is not a soviet artist. Troubles begin. Unexpectedly for himself Vladimir is labeled as a dissident and an anti-soviet. Against him and Rublev's studio a raging company begins on the behalf of the local Union of

Artists. Rublev becomes seriously ill. Kvasov was placed in mental institution.

That time's president of the local Union of Artists P.L.Mironov, having a sympathy

for Vladimir advises to leave Barnaul.


Vladimir leaves in 1981, first to Kemerovo (Kuzbass is a land of miners and metallurgists), then in 1984 to Novokuznetsk (previously known as Stalinsk). Life in a basement, life in a hostel, life without a residence permit. During this time Vladimir mystically connects his life with Vincent Van Gogh. He sees a similarity in his and Van Gogh's paths. Vincent becomes his companion, his friend. A book in constant use during that time is "Letters of Van Gogh". It helps him to overcome the difficulties. Vladimir uses opportunities to go to art trips, provided by the union of artists, komsomol (communistic union of youth). He descends in mines, paints miners, miners' villages. But he is not interested in "soviet pictures", he is interested in people,

swallowing food in dirty factory cafeterias, working with harmful production toretire earlier.

In 1984 the first personal Vladimir's exhibition takes place in the

House of Artist in Kemerovo. The exhibition is closed after a week, the directors

of culture are not satisfied with "gloomy" colors of the exhibited paintings. In 1986

- 1987 Vladimir travels to Jambul (not far from Tashkent), where his painting

system changes fundamentally, contrasting bright colors emerge, tonometer

becomes cadmium red.

In 1987 in Novokuznetsk an arts critic from Tretjakov

gallery to become familiar with the art situation in Kuzbass. She becomes

interested in Vladimir's works and gets him acquaintaned with an arts critic Maria

Valjaeva. Vladimir manages to paint big compositions using new paintings system.

In the country the changes occur - Perestrojka. In 1987 Vladimir joins the Union of

Artists USSR.

In 1988 a personal exhibition in Novokuznetskij museum of fine

arts and then an exhibition "100 paintings of Vladimir Opara" in Kemerovskaja

local painting gallery take place.

In 1990 the first personal exhibition in Moscow.

This year Tretjakov gallery buys Vladimir's painting "Judas' Kiss". Vladimir with

his wife Maya move to Moscow. In 1990 Vladimir participates in a grand

exhibition "Washington - Moscow" in State Tretjakov gallery.

In 1991 the exhibition was presented in Washington in Carnegie Library. In 1991 Vladimir creates an installation "Iron path" that occupied 900 square meters, Maria Valjaeva get Vladimir acquaintaned with artists Marlen Shpindler, Andrej Grositskij, Leonid Berlin, Adolf Goldman, Aleskej Kamenskij. The artists take part in the project

"Iron Path". The relationships become a friendship. After "August Putsch" in 1991

Vladimir and Maya leave for United States of America, where a professor of

painting Randolph Michiner organizes a series of exhibitions and lectures by

Vladimir Opara. The exhibitions and interviews of Vladimir are shown on TV in

Washington, state Colorado, "Friends in Arts" are being filmed and shown on cable

TV. Vladimir and Maya has a real possibility to stay in USA, however, after a

while Vladimir makes a decision to go back to Moscow.

In 1992 Vladimir and Maya return in Moscow. Vladimir paints a series of paintings "Towers" and in 1993 shows them on the personal exhibition in the Central House of Artist. Tretjakov Gallery buys a painting "The construction of a Tower". 

In 1993 - 1994 Vladimir with a philosopher Leontij Zibajlov directs an art studio in the School of Modern Art "Independent Studios" and realizes a project "Gold and Ashes", "The Cleanse of Sand", "Claustrophobia". The series of photos "Claustrophobia" (9

photos 30 x 40 cm) and the series of photos "The Cleanse of Sand" (5 photos 30 x

40 cm) are in the collection of the State Tretjakov Gallery. Realized projects,

where sand, clay, metal were used, led to the creation of a series of paintings "How

Rain and Snow Come off the Sky" (Novosibirskij State Museum), "Green" (State

Russian Museum, St.Petersburg), "Boy Carburetor and His Mom", "Very quite"

and others. The surface of the paintings remind in its texture rusty metal, appearing

through clay and sand. The paintings were shown in State Russian Museum on the

exhibition "Abstraction in Russia. XX century" in 2001. On the exhibition the

paintings of such russian artists working in the manner of abstractions were

presented as Kandinskij, Malevich. A part of work from the series "The Wind from

the East", "He on a Donkey Enters Jerusalem", "Sharm el-Sheikh" were created

after trips to Tunis and Sinai Peninsula (2004 - 2005).

Lately Vladimir works a lotwith paper. A series of flat and 3D paintings were created on paper "Boats and Locomotives". "Boats and Locomotives" were shown in Riga in 2009. Two compositions became a property of Latvian National Art Museum (Riga). In 2009

in Moscow in well-known exhibition holl on Kuznetskij Most street a retrospective

exhibition of Vladimir's Opara "35 years of creative activity" takes place.


In 2010 Vladimir (with Maya Opara) created a video installation "Deportation". The

videoinstallation was dedicated all who were departed against their will as a result

of military actions. In 2012 Vladimir and Maya show their big project E-Crucifix.

The project included a series of paintings, video, performances and installations. In

2012 - 2014 Vladimir creates a series of paintings using his experience from trips

to Europe: "Barka Cantiere", "Chiogga", "Venice", "Europe-2", "Western Berlin",

"German Wagons". After several trips to Holland Vladimir currently works on a

series "created land". It is windmills and dams of Netherlands.



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